The conservation area covers 8,280km sq (3,196 square miles) and stretches from Lake Eyasi in the Rift Valley north to the Serengeti Plains. The conservation area also contains at least seven extinct volcanoes and is probably one of the most varied terrains in East Africa. The plains in the north are critical for the wildebeest migration. This area was established in 1959 to cater for tourists, protect the forest to the south and guard unique archaeological sites like Ol duvai Gorge and Laetoli especially after the Masai complained that they were being pushed out of their grazing land which was Serengeti by then. The altitude varies from Lake Eyasi at 1,000m (3,280 feet) to the Peak of Lolmalasin Mountain at 3,640m (11,940 feet).
Sweetwater’s Game Reserve, also known as Ol Pejeta Ranch is located in an expansive 24,000 acres of a privately owned ranch, famous for its non-indigenous chimpanzees.
The Jane Goodall Institute established a Chimpanzee Sanctuary at the site. The sanctuary does not encourage breeding but it recognizes the importance of raising baby chimpanzees to adulthood.
A walk around the Chimps Sanctuary will give you an opportunity to spot the orphaned chimps. It’s also the largest Black Rhino Sanctuary in East Africa. Apart from the chimps and the black rhinos, you have a chance to view the amazing variety of wildlife such as the zebras, lions, leopards, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, Oryx, eland, baboons, elephants and various species of birds.
The Amboseli National Park lays North West of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest Mountain. From Amboseli, it is possible to engage in a scenic flight to see the top of the Mount Kilimanjaro. The name Amboseli is a Maasai word which means place of dust. Indeed herds of elephants can be spotted covering themselves in dust or wallowing in the swamp which is full of birdlife. Covered by savannah and acacia trees, the open flat plains are ideal places to search for the wildebeests, buffaloes, cheetahs, lions, hyenas, zebras, hippos etc. The two permanent water springs are underground seepage from the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro which the Park has as its magnificent backdrop. Large wildlife concentration mostly occurs here in dry season because of permanent swamps. Indeed there is no place in the world where game drives are possible with the backdrop of the Africa’s highest mountain.
Mara is a Maasai word for “spotted”. From the air, the visual effect of the Mara thickets looks like spots hence the name of Masai Mara Game Reserve. The Maasai Mara is one of its kind as this is the home of all the big five – rightly named big five – not because of their size but because of each of these animals were highly poached. Some for their horns believed to be aphrodisiac whilst others for their skin. Whatever the reason, the Maasai Mara has continued to be a safe haven for these animals. The Masai Mara boasts more than 450 species of birds which includes raptors. This park is home to astonishing number of animals, umbrella shaped trees, the beautiful sunsets (always at the same time every day of the year), the winding Mara River and the rugged Ololoolo Escarpment Here you will enjoy exotic experience of hot air balloon gracefully drifting above the Mara River and the game rich African savannah.